BETTER MARKETING FOR BETTER BUSINESS

Sharing our thoughts on the world of today's media.

Media Buying

Bring Back the Phone Books

We’ll let you decide on this, but for many local businesses, the phone book used to be something they depended on to bring in new customers every year. We see in our data, there are still business types in specific markets where the phone book still brings in a substantial number of new customers and sales. To some, the phone book is dead, and to others, the phone book still brings a respectable return on the investment.

Phone Books

The quote “Give me the phonebooks back” was said by one of our clients this past month. And this opened some discussion amongst our team on the value and simplicity the phone books have or did have. The businesses which advertised heavily consistently had great tracking and could tell the value it was bringing their business. For some, it was just the fear of not being there which kept them advertising in the phone book.

When we dug deeper to understand this specific client, it was interesting to hear his thoughts. And to some degree, it encompassed the simplicity. Think about it, buy an ad in the phone book and it’s there for the year. You know what it is or is not going to do for your business, and after you signed the contract, you didn’t think much of it until the following year. You could think about it, but you couldn’t change the ad until the next publication.

The internet, on the other hand, may be the exact antithesis of the phone book. Most experts know and study the changes made by Google or other search engines/platforms on a regular basis. For business owners and marketing people, staying up on these changes requires time and there are many different opinions on the best way to win at marketing on the internet. Of course, different for each market and business type. The aforementioned client knows this, and he has his team check regularly where his business is being found online. What page and what position for different search terms are things they look at, as well as the performance of many different online advertising platforms.

No matter how many years the phone books have left in their existence, the internet is the new place people look to go when they are looking for a service or product. And who knows? Maybe our smartphones will become obsolete as well. Being replaced by the likes and/or next generation of what we know today as “Hey Siri,” “Alexa,” or “Hey Google,” and the wave of AI which is here today and growing every day. “Hey, Google – I need a plumber to come out to the house today to repair a leaky faucet,” will be followed with something like, “There are three choices near you, all with a 4.0-star rating or higher. I can connect you to the first one, XYZ plumbing company, which has been in business since 1991 if you would like.”

The future may be closer than we think.

Programmatic Advertising. What is it?

Online Media Buying

You may have heard terms like “Programmatic Advertising” thrown around more and more recently. It has become commonplace for businesses of all sizes to include in their marketing plan. Yet many business owners don’t understand what that means. We understand people are hesitant to try something new, especially if they’re not truly grasping the concept. Let’s talk about Programmatic Advertising so we can all have a better understanding of what it is and what value it may bring to different businesses.

 

Over the past few years, display and video advertising have grown exponentially. We are seeing local businesses slowly start making an entry into this new media, as more and more companies are working with them to help get their feet in the door. Many of the opportunities for using digital and video advertising is only available through Programmatic Advertising. The understanding of the term Programmatic Advertising is not important, however with the term being thrown around so much, it is good as a marketer to understand in principle, the concept, and definition.

 

Programmatic Advertising, in a nutshell, is a computerized purchase of ads on the internet, as opposed to the traditional negotiations of ad contracts (human to human) which are typically much simpler. Programmatic Advertising uses an algorithm (a detailed step-by-step instruction, or formula, for solving a problem or completing a task) to purchase online ad space for lots of competing businesses, in real time, typically with the goal of placing each in the best spots that make the most sense for that business. It is one of the best ways to purchase digital and video advertising for local businesses, at the best cost. For many businesses, it’s the only way.

 

Let’s say you want to advertise your local business with a billboard. The buying process here is relatively easy: find the available billboards, develop your message, and complete the paperwork. This might include meeting with several billboard companies and negotiating the best value for the money.  Now, let’s say you want to show up on digital ad space. It’s more difficult to buy ads showing on specific websites or even be competitive in pricing compared to national brands.

 

Programmatic Advertising solves this problem in the digital world and actually does it better than traditional agreements could manage. It is a good way to target a much more specific market or audience, increasing accuracy and minimizing wasted money.

 

It’s understood with a billboard, approximately half of the people seeing the billboard may be a potential client. So, if you’re selling flooring then your target audience would be homeowners. In 2018 only 64% of the population owned homes, which means your billboard may be targeting up to 36% of people who are not your potential customer. This would be a great example of wasted money. With Programmatic Advertising, you can have your ads targeted to people who own homes at a much higher level by focusing on data which is available about each user (on their computer or phone), such as their search habits or website usage.

 

Though you could purchase digital and video ads from your local newspaper or television station, this is typically less targeted to your desired demographic, and the price (in our own findings) is often higher than general Programmatic Advertising costs. This may differ by region or if bundled with other products/advertising. Print newspaper and digital ads may confuse the price conversation, making it unclear as to the real value of the product on its own. They may sell you space only in their online newspaper or television station, but as soon as they start showing ads in other places, they too are buying into the concept of Programmatic Advertising.